Tapas Bose Tapas Bose - 2 months ago 10
Java Question

How to ensure thread safety of utility static method?

Is there any general way or rules exits by which we can ensure the thread safety of static methods specifically used in various Utility classes of any applications. Here I want to specifically point out the thread safety of Web Applications.

It is well know that static methods with Immutable Objects as parameters are thread safe and Mutable Objects are not.

If I have a utility method for some manipulation of

java.util.Date
and that method accepts an instance of
java.util.Date
, then this method would not be thread safe. Then how to make it thread safe without changing the way of parameter passing?

public class DateUtils {

public static Date getNormalizeDate(Date date) {
// some operations
}
}


Also is the class
javax.faces.context.FacesContext
mutable? Is it thread safe to pass an instance of this class to such static utility method?

This list of classes, instances of which can be or cannot be passed as parameters, could be long; so what points should we keep in mind while writing codes of such utility classes?

Answer

It is well known that static methods with immutable objects as parameters are thread safe and mutable objects are not.

I would contest this. Arguments passed to a method are stored on a stack, which is a per-thread idiom.

If your parameter is a mutable object such as a Date then you need to ensure other threads are not modifying it at the same time elsewhere. But that's a different matter unrelated to the thread-safety of your method.

The method you posted is thread-safe. It maintains no state and operates only on its arguments.

I would strongly recommend you read Java Concurrency in Practice, or a similar book dedicated to thread safety in Java. It's a complex subject that cannot be addressed appropriately through a few StackOverflow answers.